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A Christian Preamble to Your Will

(From Funding Future Ministry, a comprehensive guide for church leaders to encourage planned gifts in support of Christian Ministries; prepared by the Episcopal Church Foundation, (800-697-2858), EpiscopalFoundation.org.)

A Christian Preamble to your will provides a significant opportunity to share your faith with family and friends. Through this personal statement of your faith, an important message will be delivered to those who love and know you best. This message of faith comes at a time of grief and loss and serves as a reminder to them to place their trust in Jesus Christ as you have. Remember this may be the last document they read about you, their loved one.

Together with your attorney as you prepare your Will/Estate Plan give prayerful consideration to adding a Christian Preamble such as:

I ______________________________________ , of the City of __________________________ , County of ______________________________ , and State of ___________________________ , declare and publish this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all wills and codicils heretofore made by me.

In thanksgiving to God for the gifts of life given in baptism, and for the many blessings God has showered upon me; and in thanksgiving to God for the gifts of faith and hope through Jesus Christ; and in thanksgiving to God for the gifts of nurture and love through the Church where we have shared faith and fellowship; I now commend my loved ones to grow in this same faith, being true to their own baptisms, knowing that God will continue to provide for them in their lifetimes; I encourage them to place their faith and trust in our Lord and Savior.

I know, therefore . . . . (and then the particulars of the will would follow, leaving gifts to family and friends, but also an articulation of the gifts you leave to the various ministries of the church.)

You may also want to use the following language for your gifts to support various ministries of the church.

I faithfully respond with a decision to establish the (insert the name of the Fund, such as your own) Memorial Endowment Fund.

The fund is a expression of my thanksgiving and stewardship with the hope that the ministries of Jesus Christ will be strengthened and extended in the life of the Church.

Complete this portion of your will/estate plan with any specific addresses or names that will help to convey your bequest intentions.


Laura Hnat